Car Tips

How to Clean Yellow or Foggy Headlights

When your car starts aging, the oxidization process can cause numerous problems. Although most of the attention goes to body rust, you won’t want to forget about your headlights.

Headlight oxidation can cause them to look yellow or foggy. This trait reduces their ability to illuminate the road, creating a potential safety hazard.

Most store-bought kits can remove this problem without much of an issue. If you have a few common household ingredients, you can accomplish the same result without much trouble.

Steps to Follow for Cleaning Yellow or Foggy Headlights

1. Spray the headlight with water.

The liquid removes the loose dirt and grime. Anything that sticks can get wiped away by a towel. You’ll want to be thorough with this process because the cleansing agent might not work right if materials sit on top of the oxidized surface. 

2. Rub toothpaste on the lens.

Apply a small dollop of toothpaste on a clean towel. Rub it into the headlight lens, going over the affected area several times. You might need to add more toothpaste to complete the job.

3. Inspect the clarity.

After wiping away the toothpaste, you’ll need to see if the yellow coloration or fogginess is gone. If you have areas that still exhibit oxidation, get repeating the second step until it disappears.

4. Rinse the headlight lens.

After you’ve cleaned the problematic areas, you can spray down the treatment spots with water. Wiping it dry will reduce the risk of moisture lingering in the unit.

If you don’t have toothpaste, the combination of baking powder and vinegar can remove headlight yellowing or fogginess. Another option is to use a rubbing compound with sanding discs made for the vehicle’s materials.